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HomecommentReader's letter: Armley councillor Lou Cunningham has my support

Reader’s letter: Armley councillor Lou Cunningham has my support

Dear sir;- I write in support of Armley councillor Lou Cunningham who has decided to join the Green Party and no longer represent the Labour Party (WLD, 17 December 2022).  

A councillor’s job is to represent their community and its electorate and political parties are a means to an end. They’re not sports teams or religions that can command unthinking loyalty.

The Labour Party unfortunately behaves as if it and it alone is the only vehicle by which the laudable aims of social justice and greater equality can be created.

Many members are obsessed with the internal workings of Labour and the petty jealousies these create. Yet as in some hierarchical top down apocalyptic sects councillors like Lou are required to follow a centrally determined agenda even when it no longer serves those who voted for her. I write as one who served as a Labour branch chair.

The Greens on the other hand – and for whom I now generally vote – offer a refreshing change. They favour a more equitable voting system which would allow voters a choice of candidates within parties.

They’re open to restoring the social and cultural rights the Brexit Tories callously and casually ripped away from intelligent young people sadly with tacit Labour support. For me, most importantly, the Greens propose a wealth tax to go some way towards promoting better equality to make society both fairer and safer.

I look forward to Lou being re-elected in the spring and strengthening the progressive voice within Leeds City Council, a body that needs much greater ambition for our city.

  • James Bovington, Church Grove, Horsforth


  1. I am moved to add my voice of support of Lou, to disagree on one minor point and to take the opportunity to set out my reasons for not joining the Green Party: they are welcome to come back and dispute them.

    I don’t think I need to add much in support: I believe Lou has been an excellent councillor and if she has failed in any way, I expect it was because she was hampered by a party devoid of merit.

    Unfortunately political parties do often command unthinking loyalty. Tribalism is an inherent part of the human condition and as we no longer function as tribes that instinct finds other ways to route itself.
    Too many are afflicted with a tribal loyalty to a party that should never be subject to it.
    I think that is inherently true of any political party, or at least any party to date.

    As for the Green Party, I cannot join because I would be joining with intent to action some fundamental reforms, and that is entryism which is immoral.

    In general terms I align with the Green Party in many ways, but they have at their core the idea that any member with enough support can get a policy adopted by the party, and that principle has governed the party from the beginning.
    The consequence of that is that they have a policy book which is stuffed with nonsense: it needs a good clear out: I think I would bin the lot and go back to basics: any specific policy can be derived from the core principles easily enough,

  2. Agree with much of this, about time Labour were challenged in Armley. It’s been a dafe seat for too long and is in desperate need of a shake up.
    Interesting how Cunningham’s ‘defection’ has been portrayed as a mainly idealogical one, to the point other Labour councillors across the city and even the council leader are also spinning this.
    Everyone knows the reasons behind her leaving, and there are certain individuals in Armley Labour Party who should be hanging their heads in shame.

    • It may be the case that everyone in the local Labour party knows, or it may be some other group, but not everybody knows…
      I don’t suggest it is your place to tell everybody, but it does sound like there are goings on in the Labour party that perhaps ought to be more widely reported.

  3. I always try to vote for the person, not the party, so I’ll be voting for Councillor Cunningham. Interesting to see Councillor Smart and Labour candidate Parnham (who used to be a Green Party councillor) suddenly taking an interest in the Armley Good Stuff page and posting regularly – can’t think why?!!
    Problem is, I don’t see her getting in. Despite years of shoulder shrugging and inertia from Labour locally, hardcore Labour supporters just trudge out and vote for the same old faces. You could put a tub of lard up on a Labour ticket and it’d probably get in, and that’s the problem.
    The area desperately needs change but I fear the general community apathy and habit will mean we won’t get it…


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